NOTEBOOK: Shoop builds aggressive defense in spring practice

USF’s defense will be structured around an aggressive front at the line of scrimmage under new coordinator Bob Shoop in 2022. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Several of USF football’s defensive players are acclimating to a fresh scheme under new defensive coordinator Bob Shoop during spring practice.

Shoop’s ideal defense is built on an aggressive pass rush, minimizing the amount of time opposing quarterbacks have to make plays. This is music to the ears of USF’s defensive backs like junior safety Matthew Hill, who believes an effective pass rush is a strong foundation for any defense.

“I personally feel like the pass rush is very important,” he said. “Without an aggressive defensive line, it’s hard for any DB to be successful. With a strong pass rush, we’re going to be very good.”

Senior safety Vincent Davis explained how the relationship between the defensive front and secondary is symbiotic in nature.

“You’re in a tough spot covering [opposing receivers] for five, six, seven seconds,” he said. “With a good pass rush, you might have to cover for only one. Those guys up front getting after the quarterback can cover up some flaws in the back. Both sides work together and help each other.”

USF fans will have a chance to see Shoop’s ideas in practice when the Bulls line up for the annual spring game April 9 at Raymond James Stadium.

Bergstrom on the verge of USF golf history

Junior Albin Bergstrom will enter the Valspar Collegiate Invitational in Palm City with the chance to set both career-best and program-best records if he can pull off just a couple of par-or-better rounds Monday and Tuesday.

Ranked No. 7 nationally by GolfStat, Bergstrom leads the AAC with his adjusted scoring average of 69.77. As that number would indicate, he is no stranger to shooting at or under par. His 22 par-or-better rounds this season is just two shy of his own single-season record from the 2018-19 season.

Even with a year left of college eligibility, Bergstrom is also two such rounds away from setting a career program record. The current mark of 78 was set by PGA Tour golfer Chase Koepka in 2016. 

The USF golf record book will feature a lot more of Bergstrom once he leaves the program, as he is also on pace to break the program record for the single-season and career scoring average.

Men’s tennis builds late-season momentum

USF men’s tennis celebrated Senior Night with a 4-2 win over No. 50 Cornell on Sunday at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts, providing a confidence boost for the team as it closes out the regular season with four straight road matches.

The No. 54-ranked Bulls’ (9-9) standout performer was sophomore Alvin Tudorica. The Toronto native began the day with a 6-4 come-from-behind doubles victory alongside his partner junior Sergio Gomez Montesa, improving to 10-5 this season as a duo. The win gave the Bulls a 1-0 advantage in the dual.

Tudorica then dominated his singles opponent with a 6-0, 6-4 win, his 11th consecutive singles win this season. Despite Cornell attempting to mount a comeback already down 3-0 in the dual, the Bulls closed out their top 50 opponents.

USF’s season-ending road trip begins on Friday against Tulane.